OSS: The Cubs find a way to beat the White Sox ace and even out the four game series.
- John Lackey was really good tonight in his 6 innings. He gave up an RBI double to Melky Cabrera in the 1st and that was it. He gave up 4 hits and that 1 run while walking a batter and striking out 4. Lackey has been in quite a funk lately so it’s nice to see him get back on track. It was his first win since early June.
- Ben Zobrist has also been pretty awful lately, but tonight he was 2-4 and drove in the winning run in the 3rd inning.
- This spot could go to Kris Bryant who led the offense in WPA, but I’m giving it to Aroldis Chapman who was just slightly better in WPA. Chapman came in to relieve Hector Rondon in the 8th with 2 outs and a man on 3rd base. It made a bit nervous with Willson Contreras behind the plate, but all was good. Chapman made quick work of the White Sox in recording the four outs he needed to pick up his first save as a Cub. He struckout 2.
- Willson Contreras was 0-4 and his groundball double play in the 3rd inning with runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out was the most costly play of the game for either team. The Cubs were up 2-1 and had a chance to add on with Chris Sale on the mound. They did not. Joe Maddon something said about conversations he’s had with Theo Epstein about when Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan are ready to be activated. He said that they’re trying to figure out ways to not “lose inventory”, which I took to mean that DFA’ing Matt Szczur was not preferable option. I can understand that, but that really just leaves the option of sending Contreras back to the minors, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. He could catch every day again and would be back in a month.
- Anthony Rizzo was 1-4 with a strikeout. He flied out in that same 3rd inning that Contreras grounded into 2. Rizzo made the first out with runners on 1st and 2nd.
- There’s nothing else to go here so I’ll just link to Phil Rogers recent column. Hard to believe he’s still being paid to write about baseball. This one wasn’t necessarily bad. I only skimmed it, but I did find this: “Sometimes you really can take one step backwards and two steps forward.” So that’s like +1 on the +/- scale. It is nice to see that Rogers has moved past his made up +/- scale in favor of stats like Wins Above Replacement. He’s come a long way.
Next up: Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma) at Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) 1:20 pm on Friday.